THE BRUTAL TELLING
If you've yet to meet the fascinating Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, who has starred in four previous novels, this book is a good place to start. The plot, like the man, is intelligent and never boring. Penny has crafted another complex mystery with twists at every turn of the page.
Gamache is enjoying a Sunday brunch with his family and his second in command, Jean Guy Beauvoir, when he's called about a murder. Within minutes, Gamache and Beauvoir are heading to the tiny Quebec village of Three Pines. A stranger lies dead on the floor of the bistro owned by Gamache's good friends Gabri and Olivier, and it's up to Gamache and his team to determine who the stranger is and why he was murdered. When the killer's identity is revealed, the little town will never be the same. (MINOTAUR, Oct., 372 pp., $24.99)